flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

How to protect cannabis grow facilities from catastrophic power failure

How to protect cannabis grow facilities from catastrophic power failure

Weather, forest fires, other natural events, and human error all can lead to losses of power.

By Luke Streit and Mike Lawless | IMEG Corp. | November 15, 2021
Cannabis grow facility
Courtesy IMEG Corp.

Owners planning construction of new cannabis grow facilities will make a sizable investment in the infrastructure needed to produce legalized medical and recreational marijuana. With their cash crop worth more per gram than gold, it is critical the facility have emergency backup power. Otherwise, thousands of dollars in potential revenue are at risk of going up in smoke if environmental conditions cannot be maintained during a power outage. 

Weather, forest fires, other natural events, and human error all can lead to losses of power. However, planning for the unanticipated will remove the risk from power emergencies. Controlled environment agriculture strategies that implement various emergency and security arrangement systems can help avoid disastrous consequences on overall yields.  

Factors that should be considered when designing and sizing an emergency power system include critical power loads, specific environmental conditions that can damage crops, code compliance, preexisting power reliability, generator capabilities, and security needs. Systems such as C1D1 hoods and exhaust apparatuses that are required by code to maintain operation during a power outage are examples of especially vulnerable aspects that should be addressed.  

A variety of emergency power system options exist, based on the individual facility characteristics and needs. These options include: 

  • Specifically sized generators to provide power for code-required and critical systems during an outage 
  • Generator connection cabinets that allow connection of a mobile generator. This could be coupled with an agreement with a rental company that could guarantee a generator within a certain amount of time (e.g., 24 hours). 
  • Full emergency generator back-up. This can ensure no operational interruption but can be costly and take up significant space. 
  • Hybrid options that include multiple generators sized for more than the minimum required backup power and for prolonged usage  
  • Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for security systems and C1D1 booths to maintain operation for multiple hours (many C1D1 manufacturers offer optional factory UPS backup systems for up to two hours) 

Efficient consumption of fuel (natural gas, propane, or diesel) should also be examined regardless of the type of system chosen. 

By taking proactive measures to provide emergency backup power, cannabis producers can help ensure successful harvests in one of the most lucrative and promising agricultural industries to emerge in the 21st century. 

More from Author

IMEG Corp. | Jan 11, 2024

Designing for personal technology is crucial for senior living facilities

Today’s seniors are increasingly tech savvy. It isn’t enough to give senior living residents a pre-determined bundle of technology and assume that they’ll be satisfied.

IMEG Corp. | Nov 10, 2023

3 important early considerations for office-to-residential conversions

Scott Campagna, PE, Senior Director of Housing, IMEG Corp, shares insights from experts on office-to-residential conversion issues that may be mitigated when dealt with early.

IMEG Corp. | Sep 28, 2023

Structural engineering solutions for office-to-residential conversion

IMEG's Edwin Dean,  Joe Gulden, and Doug Sweeney, share seven key focuses for structural engineers when planning office-to-residential conversions.

IMEG Corp. | Jun 12, 2023

Drones take site assessments to new heights

Eric Vallejo, Director of Reality Capture and Geospatial Solutions, IMEG Corp., discusses strategies for using visualization and reality capture.

IMEG Corp. | Apr 20, 2023

13 trends, technologies, and strategies to expect in 2023

Biophilic design, microgrids, and decarbonization—these are three of the trends, technologies, and strategies IMEG’s market and service leaders believe are poised to have a growing impact on the built environment.

IMEG Corp. | Nov 16, 2022

SPC-4D: 7 reasons California hospital building owners should act now to meet seismic compliance

Seismic compliance with the applicable California building codes is onerous and disruptive for building owners, especially for a building in the heavily regulated sector of healthcare. Owners of older buildings that house acute care services have a big deadline on the horizon—Jan. 1, 2030, the cutoff date to upgrade their buildings to SPC-4D.

IMEG Corp. | Aug 1, 2022

Achieving a net-zero K-12 facility is a team effort

Designing a net-zero energy building is always a challenge, but renovating an existing school and applying for grants to make the project happen is another challenge entirely.

IMEG Corp. | Apr 19, 2022

6 trends to watch in healthcare design

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, IMEG’s healthcare leaders from across the country are seeing several emerging trends that are poised to have wide-ranging impacts on facility design and construction. Following are six of the trends and strategies they expect to become more commonplace in 2022 and the years to come. 

IMEG Corp. | Feb 18, 2022

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: Comprehensive strategies to keep people and buildings safe

CPTED is so much more than surface-level protection; it encompasses multiple phases of design, social programs, colors, lighting, natural surveillance, natural access control, and even traffic curbing.

IMEG Corp. | Feb 1, 2022

Sustainable design solutions will power EV charging stations

As the EV market share has been recognized, MEP firms have been tasked with the responsibility of an entirely new design: charging stations.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -
halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021